Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 63-72 - More Sierras, 9 days outside, Zero in Mammoth Lakes

Hi all, just a quick update, in Mammoth Lakes taking a zero, which is almost over.  Blogging is getting really hard!!!  I may some day come back and write this stuff up.

We have now done most of the John Muir Trail.  The PCT follows it for 175 miles, plus we did Mount Whitney. We will likely not go out Yosemite Valley to finish, as we have already viewed half dome and it sounds like a crazy hellish crowded place, and the John Muir Trail has been crowded enough! (but still great)

Scenery continues to be stunning, though I don't get totally jaw dropping ecstatic constantly. I am able to hike through it, instead of stopping for hours.  I guess I'm jaded.  I think it gets more dramatic the further South you go, so we hit the best stuff first, but it's still been great. It's also been physically challenging, trying to make at least 14 miles a day so as not to run out of food.  many people did run out of food on this stretch, hiker hunger taking over, people bailing in unplanned places, or full on hiking 20 mile days with nothing in their bellies.  Crazy!

I should have been documenting what altitudes we have been at.  Basically  we have mostly been above 10,000 feet for weeks.  The trail goes straight up, then straight down, then straight up, etc...They have built huge stairs into the trail which is wrecking my knees, especially with all this weight.

This is about all I have time for. Forest fire ahead, about a mile and a half from the trail, so we don't know what the near future holds.  Below are some stats:

Day 63 - Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake for bear food storage box = 8.3 miles
Day 64 - Glenn Pass - .8 miles Charlotte Lake trail plus mile 788.9 to 802.7 = 14.6 miles (really hard day for some reason)
Day 65 - Pinchot and Mather Passes - Mile 802.7 to 818.8 = 16.1 miles (another really hard day)
Day 66 - No passes, should be easy, but it's not. My body aches and is really run-down. - Mile 818.8 to 833.6 = 14.8 miles
Day 67 - Muir Pass - bad mood for some reason. Scenery Hangover? Mile 833.6 to 849.9 = 16.3 miles
Day 68 - Another No-Pass day. Very rude girls roll in at 9:30 giggling and waking us camping right next to us. At Salley Keyes Lakes; Mile 849.9 to 864.1 plus .6 for water because we screwed up = 14.8 miles
Day 69 - Selden Pass - wake up at 0500 and make tons of noise for paybacks to the awful giggling girls next to us.  hahahahahaha!!! Fair is Fair. Motivated for miles to get out early on Monday to Mammoth, fantastic campsite above waterfall,  so mile 864.1 to 882.1 = 18.0 miles
Day 70 - good walking, easy fords, forgot to write anything, camp near Deer Creek - Mile 882.1 to 900.9 = 18.8 miles
Day 71 - Out to Reds Meadows, bus to Mammoth - Mile 900.9 to 906.7 plus 1/2 mile Reds Meadow Trail = 6.3 miles  Mmmm...beer, food, and hot tub
Day 72 - Zero in Mammoth, hard to get chores done!!!  But here I am

photos on instagram

p.s. You might be wondering how our bodies are changing. I have no idea how much weight I've lost, but I can definitely tell that my calves are giant, and my thighs are lean and strong.  I still think I have a huge beer belly, but whereas I started out between a size 6 and 8, my pants quickly loosened on trail, so I bought a size 4 a few weeks ago, something I haven't been in quite a while.  Well, the past few weeks those size 4 pants and shorts have also become quite loose. Today in Mammoth I tried on a size 2 pants, and they fit just fine.  A size 2! I will order size 2 pants for a few weeks from now. 2!!! I was never a size 2, even when I was 10, probably. Definitely never in High School or Middle School. At 34 I am much smaller and stronger than my aneorexic teenage years, only I am a healthy strong small. So though I still see a flabby beer belly, obviously there has been major change to our bodies the past 72 days. Grant will be turning 40 in a few weeks (sorry honey), and is crossing this milestone the strongest and fittest he has ever been in his life, even when he was a teenager pounding nails for a living, telemark skiing, playing soccer, and rock climbing in Jackson Hole. Quite amazing. With about 1,750 miles to go, I am sure we will be nearly unrecognizeable to our family and friends when we see them next.

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